Pete Willis

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Pete Willis
Birth namePeter Andrew Willis
Born (1960-02-16) 16 February 1960 (age 59)
Sheffield, Yorkshire, England
GenresHeavy metal, hard rock
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals
Years active1977–1991, 2003
Associated actsAtomic Mass, Def Leppard, Gogmagog, Nightrun, Roadhouse

Peter Andrew Willis (born 16 February 1960 in Sheffield, West Riding of Yorkshire, England) is a retired English musician, best known as a founding member of the band Def Leppard. He co-wrote many tracks and played guitar on the band's first three albums: On Through the Night, High 'n' Dry, and Pyromania, which was being recorded at the time of his departure.[1] He was fired from Def Leppard in 1982 and replaced by Phil Collen. In December 2018 it was announced that Willis would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Def Leppard [2]


Willis attended Tapton School and was a guitar enthusiast since his youth.[citation needed] He was a fan of Jimi Hendrix.[citation needed]

In his early adult life, he formed a band called Atomic Mass with Nicholas Mackley, Rick Savage, Paul Hampshire, and Tony Kenning.[citation needed] He met Joe Elliott in 1977 and invited him to audition for the band, which later became Def Leppard.[citation needed] Willis was one of the main songwriters of the band during their first three albums.

He was dismissed from the band during the recording of Pyromania due to excessive drinking hampering his guitar playing[3], and was replaced by guitarist Phil Collen. He later recorded with the bands Gogmagog (with former and current members of Iron Maiden) and Roadhouse.

In February 2003, Willis was one of several past members who joined Def Leppard on-stage for a photograph during a concert at the Hallam FM Arena.

As of 2003, Willis left the music business. He now runs his own property management company in Sheffield.[citation needed]


With Def Leppard[edit]

With Gogmagog[edit]

With Roadhouse[edit]


Preceded by
Def Leppard lead guitarist
Succeeded by
Phil Collen